The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Film - Town of Runners

Wednesday 7th November 2012

The Ritzy, Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Lane, London SW2 1JG

6:30pm, Tickets £10.50, Concessions £9.50.

The Royal African Society and SOAS present Film Africa 2012

Film Africa, the UK’s largest annual festival of African cinema and culture, is back in November 2012 with 10 days of 70 amazing African films, 35 leading filmmakers offering Q&As, free professional workshops, and 9 African music nights.

After the huge success of Film Africa 2011, this year’s festival is even bigger and better, with a whole range of new exciting educational, family, and arts events alongside the main film programme. And this year, in addition to continuing our Silver Baobab Award for Best Short African Film and The Distribution Forum, we will also be inaugurating the Film Africa Audience Award and the Picha House, an alternative cinema venue with free screenings throughout the festival.

Sadly there are not as many Ethiopian films this year. On Wednesday 7 November the Ritzy are showing a double bill:

An African Race (World Premiere).

Last year, on a trip to Rwanda for Rouleur magazine, photographer and filmmaker Ben Ingham followed the chaotic journey of the Tour of Rwanda, a bicycle race that twists and turns on the roads out of Kigali to the corners of the land of a thousand hills. In this short, vibrant film, Ingham captures the abstract rhythms of the race, the strength and determination of the riders, and the frenzy that lines the otherwise quiet roads of rural Rwanda as people throng to greet them, and catch a glimpse of the circus that passes by.

Dir. Ben Ingham. UK. 2012. 20 min.

Followed by the one film in the festival that was made in Ethiopia:

Town of Runners

A feature documentary about young runners from Bekoji - an Ethiopian highland town which has produced some of the world's greatest distance athletes, including Tirunesh Dibaba, Kenenisa Bekele and Derartu Tulu. Tiki Gelana, who won the 2012 Olympic Women’s Marathon, is also from Bekoji. The film tells the story of two young girls, living in a rural town as they try to run their way to a different life.

Narrated by their friend Biruk, it follows their highs and lows over three years as they try to become professional athletes. Through their struggle, the film gives a unique insight into the ambitions of young Ethiopians living between tradition and the modern world.

Funded by ITVS and Channel 4 Britdoc, Town of Runners is a feature documentary by an award-winning director Jerry Rothwell (Donor Unknown, Heavy Load) about the young athletes born and raised in Bekoji, who hope to emulate their local heroes and compete on the world’s stage. Filmed over four years, the film follows their fortunes as they move from school track to national competition and from childhood to adulthood.

Dir. Jerry Rothwell. UK. 2011. 80min.

The films are followed by a Q&A with directors Ben Ingham, Jerry Rothwell and Dan Demissie

More information about Town of Runners can be found on the Town of Runners and Dogwoof Films websites.


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